Helping the Injured in Tennessee Since 1977

What Can Cause Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s Palsy refers to the damage done to the nerves of a baby’s arm. Also known as a form of obstetric brachial plexus disorder, the injury affects two out of every 1000 babies. The brachial plexus is what gives the baby movement and feeling in the arm. When those nerves are damaged, it can affect the child’s movements and cause paralysis.

Because Erb’s Palsy is a direct injury to the nerves, it can be caused by more than one circumstance. It is important that doctors follow all safety protocols to ensure a child is not injured.

Common causes of Erb’s Palsy include:

  • Shoulder dystocia – This is an event where the baby cannot pass through the birth canal properly and his or her shoulder is stuck. The strain on the shoulder can damage the nerves and cause Erb’s Palsy.
  • Excessive pulling of the arm – Doctors need to utilize the utmost care with newborns. If treated with excessive force, particularly by the arm, nerve damage can ensue.
  • Breech Birth – Breech birth occurs when the baby’s buttocks or feet come out first during labor. This can cause complications that can injure the infant.
  • Improper forceps or vacuum extraction use – Forceps and vacuum extractions can place undue pressure on a baby’s arm. If they are not used correctly, it can lead to nerve damage.

Erb’s Palsy is a serious injury, one that can affect a child throughout his or her life. It can affect the quality of your baby’s life. While there are treatments, some of them include surgery. No parent should have to watch their newborns suffer, particularly if it could have been prevented. If your baby sustained nerve damage that led to Erb’s Palsy, contact our Nashville birth injury attorneys today! We’ll review your case and strategize a plan that will protect rights!


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